India-Pakistan peace conference delegates call for more trade

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (ANI): Delegates from India and Pakistan, attending a peace conference in New Delhi on Monday called for more trade between the two countries to build bridges.

Addressing the conference Akbar Zaidi, a leading Pakistani economist, said trade is an important bridge for peace.

"Despite a lot of problems, trade continues to take place. And I think that's very important...there's a very good slogan, trade as an instrument of peace...and specially when we are trying to build bridges and make peace happen. But I think trade is something very separate and peace is very important. If you have peace, you might have trade, if you have trade, you don't necessarily have peace. And I think India and Pakistan relations in the last years suggest that," he said.

Stressing on trade, Muchkund Dubey, an economist and India's former foreign secretary, said trade brings people closer.

"I would say that trade becomes an instrument for peace because it brings people together. It brings the trading community together and then...through trading community the manufacturers come together, the consumers come together. And then if trade becomes part of the overall restructuring then the economists as a whole come together. And therefore this makes for peace," he added.

Trade between India and Pakistan is likely to witness a 60 percent decline in the financial year ending March 2010 as a result of tensions after the Mumbai terror attacks, says a study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (ANI)

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